Ortom Says Bauchi Gov ‘Complicit’ In Herdsmen Attacks On Benue People
…Asks Bala Mohammed To Apologize To Nigerians
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state has mocked his Bauchi State counterpart, Bala Mohammed, for entangling himself further in a bid to wangle out of the scandal created by his comments defending the evil perpetrated by armed Fulani herdsmen.
Orton said instead struggling to extricate himself from the consequences of his remarks, the Bauchi State Governor should apologize to Nigerians.
Orton also lamented that “the horrendous activities of armed herdsmen have left the state with over 800,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), which government was still battling to care for and was not prepared to put the lives of more of the people in the state at risk by allowing armed herdsmen into Benue.”
The Benue state Governor who disclosed this while speaking to newsmen at Government House, Makurdi on Monday, further explained that the action of the Bauchi governor allegedly “makes him complicit in the attacks by the herdsmen on innocent Nigerians, including the Benue people.”
While Governor Ortom stated that Bala Mohammed was instigating the Fulani race against him (Ortom), the Governor also noted that “he was not against the Fulani, some of whom are in the state and are law-abiding,” but that he was against terrorist herdsmen that had migrated into the country, from other countries to cause mayhem.
According to Ortom, since “Bala Mohammed was comfortable with the killer herdsmen, he should take them into Bauchi,” stressing that his administration was not prepared to harbour any criminals in the state.
On the issue of the call for the state of emergency in the area of insecurity, Governor Ortom noted that he has been vindicated by the resolutions of the national assembly.
He pointed out that he had “received knocks from several quarters over the call for the state of emergency, the same way he received knocks over the enactment of the Benue State Open Grazing Prohibition and ranches establishment law, which is now being clamoured for by all.”
Governor Ortom therefore advised Bala Mohammed to take a cue from his Kano and Kaduna state counterparts on some of these keys issues, rather than running from pillar to post.
The Benue state Governor also observed that “the activities of the armed herdsmen have left the state with well over 800,000 IDPs,” that government was still contending with, and wondered why a governor charged with the responsibility of keeping the law would make such unguarded statements.
He argued that Benue had earlier disarmed bandits in the state, so as to ensure there was law and order, adding that it was wrong for someone of such status to come out and make such utterances, that would unnecessarily heat the polity.
Subsequently, Governor Ortom vowed that as long as his administration was in existence, there would be no room for open grazing in Benue state.